A grim reminder of the pandemic

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US toll a reminder of our responsibilities ahead in the war against Covid-19. The US passed the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Wednesday, becoming the first country with a six-figure death toll.

With global cases soaring past 5.7 million and more than 354,000 deaths, the road ahead in the battle against Covid-19 is full of treacherous twists and turns even as countries around the world begin a cautious journey to reopen their economies and embrace the new normal.

Some experts in epidemiology, disaster planning and vaccine development have warned that there’s a good chance the virus will never go away, even after a vaccine is discovered and deployed. In a sign of the complexities involved in exiting a lockdown, South Korea re-imposed social distancing rules after a spike in new cases.

Nobody knows for sure — but what’s certain is that without carefully and deliberately embracing the new normal, the world will perpetually remain caught in the vicious circle of lockdowns, feeble commercial activities and severe economic downturns.

So should countries and communities just passively wait out the pandemic at home and hope that the virus goes away — may be in six months or a year?

That would be wishful thinking at best and a recipe for economic catastrophe in reality. Instead, a purposeful embrace of the situation is crucial to the next phase of the global pandemic response.

Meanwhile, the country is reopening the economy in carefully calibrated steps with stringent safety measures in place — so that both lives and livelihoods can be saved.

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